Seeing Christi and Walker juxtaposed in national scandalerama mode, I find myself marveling at how much alike they are, and yet as different as the two states they lead.
Since both have been bandied about as GOP front runners for the 2016 election, whatever their prospects now, I can’t help but compare and contrast the choices we get to run against in the GOP these days, and I’m talking about the ESTABLISHMENT GOP, which very much still includes Walker and would have included Christi if only
that darn bridgegate thing hadn’t intruded.
You have two guys who are micro managers, despite their protestations of such, and bullies in their own different ways. Two guys who had an unlikely and not particularly lustrous rise. Two guys who both know how to throw anyone under the bus who gets in their way. Both ruthless, both as fervently right wing as the other, both seeking to hide that fact.
But it’s the ways that they are different that are most interesting to me.
While Christi is bombastic and aggressive, Walker is bland and prone to disappearing when things get rough. Where Christi cherishes his tough guy image, Walker tries to position himself as the calm voice of reason, wouldn’t be caught dead in a Chris Christi, “ain’t I tough” You tube video. While Christi steps up to the fight, Walker steps out---leaves town, becomes inaccessible. While Christi revels in black and white statements, Walker revels in bland non statements. While Christi has a huge personality, Walker has one that would be hard to find with a geiger counter designed to find it.
So the question is, just for the fun of the conversation, which would be more dangerous if he got away with it? And it’s a hard question, they are both formidable in their own ways when it comes to image making and control and they have both had a fair amount of luck and timing under their wings. Till now.
I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here. But it is interesting to consider how such two different approaches could garner success in the GOP of today. In fact, it’s hard for me to think of any other two GOP voices that are as similar in policy and different in voice and approach.
Their final similarity, as the fates would have it, is they end up where they are today, with the sudden unpleasant smell of a bad funding investment wafting around both of them.
Perhaps the one fatal thing they share in common is a total lack of humility, the result of a rise to the national stage neither of them ever earned with hard won experience in making mistakes and getting caught out for them, earlier rather than later, and before it was too late.